Resin domes can be used on an almost exhaustive list of items. Every time we think we’ve seen it all, someone else comes up with a new way to use domed labels. From promotional products to jewellery, domes can literally elevate a brand or design to new heights.
The wonderful thing about resin doming is how easy it is to get started. If you’re trying out a new idea, you can begin with a starter kit and, if you want an even easier route, you can cheat a little with Instant Dome gel labels.
When you know that you want to work with resin decals and you’re ready to step up a level, you’ll need the following doming equipment before you start:
Domed Label Equipment Checklist
- A printer (preferably inkjet) that can print the size of flat labels you need
- Print media (self-adhesive gloss polyester media is the best for print quality and smooth, even flow)
- A cutter, because you’ll need to cut the label out and remove the excess self-adhesive material.
- A doming kit or doming machine to apply the resin manually or automatically
- Various accessories including resin applicators, work trays, mixers, wipes, spirit level and repair tools.
- Polyurethane resin (mercury-free is now an EU requirement) – the higher the quality, the better the finish.
- A curing oven – whilst the resin can air-dry, an oven can speed up the process
The 7-Step Resin Doming Application Process
For those of you who are keen to DIY (Dome It Yourself), there are a few wrong and right ways to go about it. This list is here to help you avoid some of the common mistakes made along the way so that you can achieve perfectly applied resin domes:
- Get your environment right
It’s so important to create the optimum set-up for doming. Ideally, the temperature in the room should be 25°C (77°F). with less than 35% humidity (use a de-humidifier if necessary). It should also be free of dust and fibre particles, as this could affect the clarity, smoothness and finish of the resin.
- Create a flat and level work surface
After printing and cutting your images or labels onto the print media, lay the sheet flat on an allow work tray (you can use a low-tack adhesive to keep it in place if you wish). It must be flat for the resin to sit perfectly.
- Load the resin into the applicator
Load your resin into the applicator, before removing the cap, with a 90-degree twist and then add a static mixer using the same twisting motion. Before use, discard the first 5ml of material by purging the cartridge to begin the chemical reaction and prevent air bubbles.
- Apply the resin – slowly – and wait
Patience is key in the application of the resin. Take it slow and apply less than you think you need (about two thirds of the printed image size) – and then wait for the resin to flow to the edge of label.
- Wait for 3 minutes before repairs
Before you dive in to remove air bubbles or dust, wait for three minutes. If, after that time, you see trapped air bubbles, give the surface a flash of heat with a flame torch very quickly. Don’t expose the dome to excessive heat as this will cause it to fail.
- Ready to cure
If you are air drying or curing your resin naturally, without an oven, cover the sheet with the next work surface and leave it for 4 hours, by which time the domes should be dry. This will be much faster in an oven.
- Stand back and admire your handy work
If you’ve followed these steps and shown patience along the way, and maybe with a little practice, you’ll discover how easy it is to create perfect resin domes and gel labels yourself.
If you have any questions or need further guidance, Liquid Lens offers full training and support. Contact our friendly team to find out more.